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Munster Clerk-Treasurer David Shafer, RDA chief William Hanna to join U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky at IU Northwest event on April 7

Public Affairs Week event to be preceded by open reception in Library Conference Center starting at 6 p.m.

The Indiana University Northwest School of Public and Environmental Affairs announced this week that two prominent local public officials will join U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky (D-Merrillville) on Tuesday, April 7, for the Public Affairs Week event “Change in Washington and the Outlook for Northwest Indiana: The First 100 Days,” to be held at 7 p.m. in the Library Conference Center, located on the IU Northwest campus at 3400 Broadway in Gary, Ind. There will be an open reception for the evening’s guests beginning at 6 p.m. in the library.

William Hanna, who recently assumed the executive directorship of the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA) after serving for three years as City Administrator for the city of Valparaiso, will join Munster Clerk-Treasurer David Shafer, who earned his Master of Public Administration degree through the IU Northwest SPEA program in 2005, as guest speakers for the event. Visclosky will deliver the evening’s keynote address, during which he will discuss current policy developments in Washington D.C. and their impact on Northwest Indiana.

Shafer is now serving his third term as Munster’s clerk-treasurer; he previously served six years as a Town Council member. At IU Northwest, Shafer received an Outstanding SPEA Graduate Student Award and was a member of Pi Alpha Alpha, the national honor society for public affairs and public administration students. Shafer holds designations as an Indiana Accredited Municipal Clerk and as a Certified Municipal Clerk, and he was admitted to the Master Municipal Clerk Academy. He has also held offices or memberships for a variety of state and local boards and organizations.

Hanna was selected from more than 300 applicants to succeed outgoing RDA chief Timothy Sanders, who resigned recently to become Associate Vice President for Governmental Relations at Purdue University. Prior to becoming Valparaiso’s city administrator three years ago, Hanna served as the city’s economic development director and vice president of the Valparaiso Economic Development Corp. Hanna, who served in the U.S. Army as a paratrooper from 1995 until 1999, and whose service included stints in the Army’s Official Presidential Escort and as the Head Trainer/Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, earned his M.B.A degree from National-Louis University in Chicago, and he is currently pursuing his law degree at Valparaiso University. Hanna assumed his duties at the RDA on April 1.

Visclosky, who is also an IU Northwest alumnus, has served as the Congressional representative for Indiana’s First District since 1985. In that time, he has developed a reputation as an accessible legislator and a staunch advocate for Northwest Indiana in the U.S. House of Representatives. Visclosky is currently a member of the House Appropriations Committee and is Chair of the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee.

IU Northwest is pleased to welcome U.S. Rep. Visclosky, Munster Clerk-Treasurer Shafer and RDA Executive Director Hanna to IU Northwest on Tuesday, April 7, for the SPEA Public Affairs Week event “Change in Washington and the Outlook for Northwest Indiana: The First 100 Days.” This civic event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited and will be first-come, first-served.

On Wednesday, April 8, SPEA will conclude Public Affairs Week by welcoming Gary native Ted Coopwood, of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Children’s Health Programs, for the program “Protecting the Health of Children in an Ever-Changing Environment.” This event will begin at 7 p.m. in Room 107 Hawthorn Hall. Seating is first-come, first-served.

For more information on Public Affairs Week, contact Sandra Hall Smith, SPEA assistant to the dean for graduate programs and outreach, at (219) 980-6695, or email her at



Media Contact:

Christopher Sheid

Michelle Searer
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